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DEGRADATION The first things seen by Francisco de Bobadilla when he entered the harbour of San Domingo on the morning of the 23rd of August 1500 were the bodies of several Spaniards, hanging from a gibbet near the water-side —a grim confirmation of what he had heard about the troubled state of the island. While he was waiting for the tide so that he might enter the harbour a boat put off from shore to ascertain who was on board the... more...

On the seventh day out we saw a dim vast bulk standing up out of the wastes of the Pacific and knew that that spectral promontory was Diamond Head, a piece of this world which I had not seen before for twenty-nine years. So we were nearing Honolulu, the capital city of the Sandwich Islands—those islands which to me were Paradise; a Paradise which I had been longing all those years to see again. Not any other thing in the world could have... more...

TO FORESTA Upon the road to Faerie,O there are many sights to see,—Small woodland folk may one discernHousekeeping under leaf and fern,And little tunnels in the grassWhere caravans of goblins pass,And airy corsair-craft that floatOn wings transparent as a mote,—All sorts of curious things can beUpon the road to Faerie! Along the wharves of Faerie—There all the winds of ChristendieAre musical with hawk-bell chimes,Carillons... more...

RELIEF OF THE ADMIRAL There was no further difficulty about provisions, which were punctually brought by the natives on the old terms; but the familiar, spirit of sedition began to work again among the unhappy Spaniards, and once more a mutiny, led this time by the apothecary Bernardo, took form—the intention being to seize the remaining canoes and attempt to reach Espanola. This was the point at which matters had arrived, in March 1504,... more...

THE THIRD VOYAGE Columbus was at sea again; firm ground to him, although so treacherous and unstable to most of us; and as he saw the Spanish coast sinking down on the horizon he could shake himself free from his troubles, and feel that once more he was in a situation of which he was master. He first touched at Porto Santo, where, if the story of his residence there be true, there must have been potent memories for him in the sight of the long... more...


CHAPTER I THE VOYAGE TO CUBA The sight of the greater part of their fleet disappearing in the direction of home threw back the unstable Spanish colony into doubt and despondency. The brief encouragement afforded by Ojeda's report soon died away, and the actual discomforts of life in Isabella were more important than visionary luxuries that seemed to recede into the distance with the vanishing ships. The food supply was the cause of much... more...

THE HOUR OF TRIUMPH From the moment when Columbus set foot on Spanish soil in the spring of 1493 he was surrounded by a fame and glory which, although they were transient, were of a splendour such as few other men can have ever experienced. He had not merely discovered a country, he had discovered a world. He had not merely made a profitable expedition; he had brought the promise of untold wealth to the kingdom of Spain. He had not merely made... more...

CHAPTER I THE ENCHANTED ISLANDS Columbus did not intend to remain long at San Salvador. His landfall there, although it signified the realisation of one part of his dream, was only the starting-point of his explorations in the New World. Now that he had made good his undertaking to "discover new lands," he had to make good his assurance that they were full of wealth and would swell the revenues of the King and Queen of Spain. A brief survey of... more...

WANDERINGS WITH AN IDEA The man to whom Columbus proposed to address his request for means with which to make a voyage of discovery was no less a person than the new King of Portugal. Columbus was never a man of petty or small ideas; if he were going to do a thing at all, he went about it in a large and comprehensive way; and all his life he had a way of going to the fountainhead, and of making flights and leaps where other men would only climb... more...

INTRODUCTION. It was in the reign of Elizabeth that England first became the enemy of Spain. Rivals as yet Spain had none, whether in Europe or beyond the seas. There was only one great mmilitary monarchy in Europe, only one great colonising power in the New World, and that was Spain. While England was still slowly recovering from the prostration consequent upon the Wars of the Roses, and nearly a century had to run before she established her... more...